Visitor Question

Liability for Residential Basketball Court…

Submitted By: Elizabeth (Gainesville, FL)

I am renting an apartment in a fairly large complex. They have two half-court basketball courts. Both are in quite bad shape. The one has cracks and holes and areas where the top surface is coming up so it leaves an area where someone could easily trip and hurt themselves.

There is nothing in the lease agreement I signed about the basketball courts. I was curious if I tripped and say split my chin open which caused an ugly scar that I was emotionally bothered by.

I know I would have a case, but what could I use to substantiate my case?

Do you know some similar cases that would serve as precedence? Like similar basketball court or tennis court injuries in a residential area, or what the governmental standards are for residential/landlord up-keep on basketball and recreational areas?

Thanks!

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Elizabeth,

You spoke in your question as if this accident had not yet happened, so please be advised that the advice given is to a party who has been in an accident not one who is wondering what “would” happen.

Property owners are responsible to maintain their property in a hazard free condition. The cracks and court condition described in an area where the property owner should definitely expect people to play, run and jump sounds hazardous.

If you have fallen and injured yourself as a result of such a condition, you should contact your landlord and make an incident report.

From there, you would need to submit a claim to the property insurance company that covers the premises.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 3, 2010

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Comments

One thought on “Liability for Residential Basketball Court…

  1. We live in an apartment complex with over 200 units. We came home a few nights ago to our master bathroom mirror shattered on the floor. The mirror (roughly 5×4 foot) is mounted on a wall over the sink directly across from our master closet and a lot of large chunks of glass were also in the closet. I called maintenence and they cleaned the floor the best they could and had the carpet cleaner come the following day (we haven’t had any issues with stepping on glass or anything since it’s been cleaned and we were not injured in anyway. I found it interesting when maintenence told me this happened in 7 or 8 other units. That information with the realization that they just renovated these mirrors a year or two ago made me wonder if they were improperly hung (they used to be mounted with clips, but when they put the new mirrors up they only did it with glue).

    We spent our free time (which was when our 1-year-old was napping or sleeping at night) that weekend vacuuming our hanging and folded clothes in our master closet to get all the tiny glass shards out of them.

    The cleanup was an inconvenience that was no fun, but the thought I can’t get out of my head is what if one of us, especially our small daughter, was there when it fell. Our daughter could have seriously been injured, maybe even killed. With the notion that this was a known issue makes me wonder if this is negligence on the apartment management.

    We emailed the apartment office to discuss the above and I suggested they put together a program to retrofit some kind of more permanent way to fix the mirrors to the wall so they wouldn’t fall in the future. We also suggested we feel it would be appropriate to compensate us for the inconvenience and general lack of surety of our safety (I said perhaps a month free of rent or more would be appropriate).

    The regional manager emailed the apartment office back and said to credit us $250 for inconvenience. They also didn’t mention they would initiate any kind of program to retrofit a fix for the mirror mounting. I feel like the apartments are not being penalized enough by the tenants to feel they need to do something, and if someone “lawyered-up”, the apartment owners would have to pay a ton more money. I’m almost to the point of wanting to get a lawyer to see what could be done.

    Is there anything that can legally be done to require or motivate the apartments to fix these mirrors more appropriately?

    Thanks!

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